Sure we have everything for the baby, but what about us? What do we need to heal after labor and delivery?!
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Healing after labor and delivery.
First thing is first, how did labor go and how are you feeding your baby?
I ask because these will make a big difference in what you need after the baby is born.
First, I had a vaginal birth with a second-degree and labial tear.
It's worth noting, tearing was my #1 fear and I can honestly say I wouldn't know if they hadn't told me.
Second, I’m choosing to breastfeed exclusively to start.
With that information, this is what I NEEDED for the first week:
This was literally on my registry as “the gift I wish I didn’t need”. The kit is about $100, but I used everything inside! It gives you everything you need to heal after labor and delivery.
They have another kit for $50 that has everything you need once you get home! It would make a GREAT gift to a new mom! I used this and then some, so if you wanted to skip the kit make sure you grab the things below.
Likely, if you tore, you'll have some of those magic disintegrating stitches. What this means is you will not wipe, you will use a peribottle. The hospital gives you one, the Frida mom gives you a better one. This squirt bottle is a must for healing after labor and delivery, with or without the kit.
These gems do not compress at all. Think “boyfriend fit” which makes them sound cute.. they’re not. However, they allow the GIANT diaper pads to stick with ease. I’d say you’ll need about 10. One a day for about a week plus a couple of extras.
Girl, the pads the hospital gives you are actual diapers… I can’t even comprehend them. HUGE. While ridiculous they are essential to hold everything you need to heal after labor and delivery
When I finally got home I had SUPER DUPER pads that were super duper long overnight pads, laughably thin, and depends. I didn't use the laughably thin or the depends.
Also, you don't need long pads, just still stick with the extra-absorbent pads for at least the first week.
5. Witch hazel pads
Witch hazel (along with numbing cream) is a must to help heal after labor and delivery. I used some of the witch hazel circle pads they give you at the hospital, then when I was out of those I used FridaMama's witch hazel full-length liners (80 counts with the hospital ones, 24 with Frida Mama).
The other option, you can make “Padsicles!” These are also AMAZING for healing! Get some witch hazel with Aloe and squirt it right on the pad, throw them in the freezer for at least an hour and you've got yourself a padsicle!
I thought they were going to be “wet” as they unthawed but that wasn't the case, these were amazing for healing after labor.
6. Numbing cream
I was so thankful the hospital gave me 2 tubes of numbing cream and I bought extra lidocaine spray for postpartum , I'm grabbing this cream, but it says it's for joints but I used cream last time and want to use cream again. do your research 🙂
So lets review:
1 – Spray yourself off with the peri bottle instead of wiping
2 – Grab your mesh underwear
3 – Stick a pad to it
4 – Lay down a few witch hazel pads
5 – A line of numbing lidocaine before you >>
6 – pull it all up.
PRO TIP: Hang on to the front and back of the underwear when you pull up, otherwise, it all falls out and when it hits the floor you must start over.. and likely your baby needs you by this point. Use this longer than you think you need. It may take weeks for you to heal after labor and delivery.
If you have any sort of tearing from birth, a “stiz bath” is a must. It is reccomneded we do 3-4x/ day for 10 min/day for healing after labor and delivery.
I managed about 1x/day.
The reason it works is because of the magnesium in Epsom salt. It makes your muscles feel SOOO MUCH BETTER! Plus, Epsom Salt is pretty cheap at Target. Get the original and add some essential oils or grab this one with lavender already in it!
You can make your own PADSicle (mentioned above) or buy FridaMom's postpartum kit
Breastfeeding after labor
I had an entire freezer full of milk and never touched an electric pump! From day one I used the haakaa! Little lady would nurse on one side and the haakaa attached to the other and caught the letdown!
THIS setup is what I reccomend because it has the suction on the bottom so it doesn't tip and a lid in case you're out and about… or on the couch.
Nipple butter is something you don't know you need until you do. In fact, I tried 3 different kinds! My favorite was from an organic brand Earth Mama.
It smells good plus the consistency of it was great. Also, you don't have to wipe it off before the baby eats, which I loved, even though I did anyway.
If you are determined to breastfeed, you must endure the first 2 weeks of raw nips. It's just the way it is. I remember choosing which side she'd nurse by which was LESS damaged.
Grab 2 of the smaller sizes so you can have one at your breastfeeding spot and the other by your bed, or in the diaper bag etc.
I went through one small one, and needed to get another and wish I'd just bought 2 from the start.
Your nipples leak… are you surprised by anything anymore?
One side leaks when baby is feeding on the other, they leak when you put on nipple butter, the leak when you get out of the shower, they leak all night, you get the idea.
I've tried two kinds these bamboo ones which are soooo comfortable and another that were not made from bamboo, a smaller circumference a had a seam down the middle making them extra uncomfortable.
However, the ones I love only give you two pair. I use oe at night and one during the day (and was doing laundry every day just so I had these clean), I found this bamboo pack that I haven't tried but they have 7 pair instead of 2 and might be worth trying!
HEYSHAYLA for 20% off!
I thought a nursing bra was something I could go without. But at week 4 I realized how I was living in my house during covid, was not how I could live in the real world… I’d have to be much more discrete
Also, because I plan on nursing for… a while. I decided is an obvious investment. 90% of the nursing bra recommendations were for Kindred Bravely so thats who I went with! After trying them, my favorite is the sublime nursing bra! I think I love it because it's something I'll wear even when I'm done nursing!
If you are struggling with breastfeeding, please talk to a lactation consultant in the hospital or at your pediatric appointment about breastfeeding. The tips they gave, in the beginning, made all the difference.
Sometimes I use this pillow other times I just use a regular pillow so for me this is hit or miss.
HEYSHAYLA gives you $10 off.
I know what you're thinking… WTF!
I just pushed out a child why are you talking about fitness?!?! I can hardly get myself out of bed! But this was SUCH a huge part of my healing!!
Expecting and Empowered (HEYSHAYLA for $10 off) was created by two sisters, a physical therapist and a nurse. The first 6 weeks of “workouts” are pelvic floor rehab!
I started in the 3rd trimester and continued into postpartum.
This guide helped me prepare for labor (I arrived at the hospital at 11 pm 6cm dilated and the little lady was here at 230a). I also had a lot of separation in my abs and now almost 7 weeks postpartum I have noticed the gap has SIGNIFICANTLY closed because of the workouts in the guide